Free Android Wear Apps You Should Download

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Android Wear Store

Android Wear Store

Like a smartphone, a smartwatch is nothing without apps. Luckily, developers are busily building apps for Android Wear and making their existing Android apps compatible with smartwatches. You can access apps you may already have on your smartphones, such as Twitter, Google Maps, TripAdvisor, and Duolingo on your smartwatch. And t​here are hundreds more available on the Android Wear Store too, including Caller ID apps, and those for messaging, to-do lists, project management, and even dating.  

Smartwatches can do nearly everything a smartphone can do. The one thing most smartwatches can't do at the current moment is make or answer phone calls, though one from LG has built-in cellular support, so expect to see this feature start rolling out to more devices.

I've been using the Moto 360 smartwatch for a few months, paired with a Motorola X Pure Edition smartphone and the Samsung Galaxy S6. I'm also planning to try it out with an iPhone, now that Android Wear is compatible with iOS.

Here are some of the Android Wear apps I like using on my smartwatch every day.

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Watch Faces With An Extra

Moto 360 Watch Face

One of the best parts of having a smartwatch is that you can change the watch face at will--and even design your own. One of the faces available on the Moto 360 (at left) includes three widgets: weather, fitness, and a calendar, giving you important information at a glance. In this case, the fitness widget shows your steps as counted by Moto Body, but you can also get a third-party face that lets you use a different service. The InstaWeather app, which obviously focuses on weather forecasts, also includes interactive watch faces and Google Fit integration. 

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Weather on Your Wrist

1Weather

If you just want straight-up weather, 1Weather is a fine, free choice. On your phone, it displays the current temperature at your location on the lock screen, which is very convenient, while on your watch, 1Weather uses cards to show you the current temperature and a five-day forecast.

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Fitness Made Simpler

Endomondo

A smartwatch makes perfect sense as a fitness tracker; many, like the Moto 360 have a built-in heart monitor. There are lots of apps you can use with Android Wear, including Google Fit, Runtastic, and Moto Body. Endomondo, an app that tracks running, cycling, and other activities, is but one of them. What I like about using Endomondo on my smartwatch is that I can pause and resume the app without digging out my smartphone, and even better, I can easily tell at a glance whether it's recording my cycling or not and how far I've pedaled. (I've had many a frustrating day when it's been recording me while I'm taking a long break or when I find that half of my ride has not been recorded.) 

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Notes On the Go

Evernote

All of us have had this problem at one time or another: a great idea or an important task you need to do pops up into your head and you have nowhere to write it down. Having a smartwatch means you can discreetly pull up a note-taking app such as Google Keep or Evernote (pictured) and dictate yourself a note on the go. You can then pick up that note later using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Here, your smartwatch becomes just another part of your mobile ecosystem.

Of course, this is just a small selection of Android Wear apps. What are your favorite Android Wear apps? Which smartwatch do you use? Share your thoughts and opinions with me on Facebook and Twitter.